# Explain the basic properties of electrical charge?

Dec 31, 2016

Electrical charge is a physical property found within matter. It causes it to experience a force when in the presence of other matter with a charge. Basically, a charge can be positive $\left(+\right)$ or negative $\left(-\right)$.

• Opposite charges attract and same charges repel. For instance, electrons repel each other, but protons are attracted to electrons.
• Charges interact more when closer and less when farther.
• Charges are additive. If one $+ 1$ charge comes near a $- 1$ charge, the net charge is $0$. For example, a neutral compound must have all of its charges add up to $0$, so since $\text{Na"_2"O}$ would contain two ${\text{Na}}^{+}$, it necessarily would contain only one ${\text{O}}^{2 -}$.
• Higher charge magnitudes interact more strongly, and vice versa. For instance, that's why $\stackrel{1 +}{\text{Na"stackrel(1-)"Cl}}$ has a smaller lattice energy than $\stackrel{2 +}{\text{Ca"stackrel(2-)"O}}$.
Dec 31, 2016

The basic properties of charge is the number of electrons that an atom or ion gains or loses to become stable.

#### Explanation:

If an atom or polyatomic ion loses electrons ( is oxidized ) it acquires a positive charge.
If an atom or polyatomic ion gains electrons ( is reduced ) it aquires a negative charge.

Oxygen with a high electronegativity tends to gain electrons oxidizing other atoms and ions and becoming negative in nature. (Oxygen is reduced)

An example would be water ${H}_{2} O$ The density of electrons is greater around the Oxygen than the Hydrogen, resulting in the Oxygen acquiring a =2 charge while the two Hydrogen each have a +1 charge.

In the polyatomic ion sulfate $S {O}_{4}^{-} 2$ the 4 Oxygen atoms each need two more electrons to become stable. This results in a charge of =8 for the 4 Oxygen atoms. The Sulfur with a lower electronegativity than Oxygen will "lose" all six of its valance electrons ( The electrons density will be less on the sulfur). This leaves sulfur with the stable electron structure of Neon.